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Collaborating with Dispersed Families

July 9, 2020

Feature image of Collaborating with Dispersed Families

By Josh McQueen, Vice President of Product 

There’s no denying that the buying preferences of families have changed. Families today have shifted how they prefer to communicate and interact with businesses, and industries are adapting to consumers’ changing needs even as you read this. For example, your local grocery store most likely offers online shopping and curbside pickup options, thereby allowing customers to have an online and in-person experience. The same thing has happened to the dining and restaurant industry with people ordering food online and picking it up in person or having it delivered. So, if this type of innovation is happening in other industries, why would a family expect anything different when doing business with a funeral home? 

Where Digital Meets Personal 

Passare knows that funeral homes and their staff are essential and cannot be replaced by low-cost, online providers. After talking to hundreds of families, we’ve learned that even though people may want to do their own funeral research, they want someone to guide them through the funeral process. So, even though families want a more digital experience, they still prefer to have that personal interaction with you. So, how have we bridged that gap? We’ve developed a way for you to easily interact with your families online and still make YOU the guide in the conversation, and it’s called the Collaboration Center. 

The Challenge of Planning: Dispersed Families 

Every family is different, but we have started to notice some common trends among younger consumers that can lead to some challenging problems for your funeral home if you don’t have a plan in place to handle them. We’re going to analyze the issue that arises with dispersed families and explain how the Collaboration Center can help you reach them.  

“I Can’t Help You” 

There’s no debate here: more people are moving away from home than ever before. This usually means that when someone dies (parents, grandparents, or family members), friends and extended family are thousands of miles away and may not be able to arrive immediately to begin funeral arrangements. I’ve spoken with owners of funeral homes who, believe it or not, have refused to work with families who are unable to plan the funeral “in person.” Their explanation was that they would not be able to provide the personal care the family deserved. But what is less caring than telling a grieving family you can’t help them?  

Meet Families Where They Are 

You may be thinking, I would never tell a family that I couldn’t help them. But, consider this: are the practices and routines in your funeral home encouraging families to interact with you in the way they prefer? If you have no way for them to communicate with you aside from your email and phone number, are you really doing everything you can to meet families where they are?  

As I mentioned previously, every family is different. Some families want to investigate your products and services before they come in. Other families might choose your funeral home due to proximity, loyalty, or your staff. The fact is, families are expecting an online experience, and it’s time to start thinking about offering one if you don’t have one already. 

The Collaboration Center: An Online Solution 

If you don’t have an online solution, look no further than the Collaboration Center. We created it with dispersed families in mind and for those who prefer an online experience at any point during the planning journey. By offering different ways to communicate, families can choose to interact in a way that’s comfortable to them, and you can have another way to build trust and take care of your families.  

With the Collaboration Center, you can help families: 

  • Write the obituary 
  • Upload important documents and photographs
  • Set a time and place for the service and decide the type of service
  • Sign and submit forms
  • And more!

Best of all, any or all of the above steps can be completed in person or online, which is perfect for dispersed families. With Passare, you never have to be the funeral professional that says, “I can’t help you.” Instead, you can be a compassionate friend who says, “Yes, we’ve got you covered.” 

 

Join me for the next article in which I discuss another challenge that inhibits collaboration: families who don’t want to come in right away.